It’s graduation day–a day that’s getting quite familiar to Marc and Beverly Ostrofsky of Houston.
Today, they’ll attend two graduation ceremonies, one for their daughter Shelly, 22, from Washington University in St. Louis and another for their daughter, Mary Grace, 18, from Kincaid High School. Mary Grace will head to Boston University. Kelly, 22, graduated last Sunday from Duke University. Tracy, 20, is a sophomore at University of Denver. The oldest, Maddy, 23, graduated from Berklee College of Music last year.
So what’s the cost of putting five daughters through college? Ostrofsky told ABC News $60,000 to $70,000 a year, “easy—that’s really conservative,” Beverly Ostrofsky said.
In total, the family will spend about $1.5 million on college after taxes and that’s not including graduate school. One daughter informed Marc that she now wants to seek her PhD. Marc is the best-selling author of “Get Rich Click,” and a multi-millionaire from Internet businesses.
“We’re fortunate that we can take care of it,” Beverly said. “We decided a long time ago we didn’t want the girls to take out college loans, so that was our commitment to them.”
Marc and Beverly married five years ago, blending their respective daughters into one big family of college-ready girls and creating a prime illustration of the rising cost of college for families with multiple children. The Ostrofsky family said their advice to parents is to start planning and saving from the day children are born.
Beverly said they wanted their daughters to have a choice of where they wanted to go to college, but having their children spread throughout the U.S. created another expense–flying all of them home for holidays and visits. Just this week, Marc flew to North Carolina for Kelly’s graduation, then to St. Louis for Shelly’s graduation and hopes to make it back just in time to Houston for Mary Grace’s graduation tonight.
Though the greatest expense is room and board, the family also picks up the tab for many other miscellaneous expenses such as food, clothing and three of the girls have cars.
“I’ve got five daughters so let’s put a separate line item for shoes,” Marc said. “At one point we had four different colleges going at the same time. It’s a little bit hectic.” Marc added he also picks up the cost of other activities such as sorority participation and athletics such as snowboarding.
With the last child leaving home for college, Marc says he and Beverly are going to “take a breather.”
“It’s like wipe the sweat off the brow now—it’s time think about what can mom and dad do,” he said.